Do I Turn the AC off or Leave It on While on Vacation?

With spring in full swing, many are beginning to think about their summer vacation plans.  As you prepare and plan for your trip, it is also important that you think about how to prepare your home for while you are away as well, specifically, your AC unit.  There are several factors that should be considered when you think about whether or not to turn your AC off while on vacation and away from the home. Man writing on paper in front of HVAC unit

Length of Time Away

If the primary goal is to save money while away on vacation, then turning your AC off while you are gone, for any length of time, can help you achieve the desired results.  But, the better option for efficiency may be to turn your AC up instead of off while on vacation.  If you will only be gone for a short vacation, ranging from one to three days, it is recommended that you simply set the AC to a higher temperature for the duration of your time away.  Leaving it to run as normal to cool a house with no one in it is wasting energy, while it can strain your AC to have to work hard to cool a house that has had no AC running for a few days.

Setting the AC thermostat to operate about 7 to 10 degrees more than your usual temperature will still allow it to run yet save on energy costs.  Closing the curtains while you are gone can also be helpful as it will block the sun and help to keep rooms cooler.  If, however, you are planning a vacation that is a week-long or more, you can save the most in energy costs by turning off the AC altogether.  If you have a programmable thermostat, it is recommended that you set it to turn on a day or two before you are scheduled to return home so it can begin to cool the home for your arrival.  When considering whether or not to turn off your AC while away, please be mindful of any animals that will be staying in the home while you are gone so they can be comfortable as well.

Weather

Weather can also factor into your decision to leave your AC on or turn it off.  If the weather will be mild while you are away, it is probably safe to leave the AC off for several days.  But if you are vacationing in the middle of hot summer temperatures, it’s best to let the AC run at a higher temperature while you are gone.  Leaving it on during scorching hot days will keep the unit from having to overcompensate to try to cool the home when you do decide to turn it back on again.

Efficiency

If your home is designed for efficiencies, such as having an insulated attic, new and efficient windows, or low air infiltration, then you can probably turn off the AC without worry as the home will be able to stay cooler for longer.  If you have an older home that does not have these features, your home could head up quickly if you choose to turn the AC off. Consider the age and efficiency of the home as you decide to keep the AC on or off.

If you encounter problems at any time during the summer or after returning from a vacation, Comfort Experts ac repair technicians are here to help.  Give us a call today.